Interview with Shalu Sharma
Author, Travel Blogger
Patna, Bihar, India
Q1. Please share your educational and professional journey?
I studied Masters in History and also completed UCG program to become a lecturer. I also studied MBA in the UK. I started to work in a law firm and worked in a travel agency then I started my own business. I set up a website and also started writing children’s books which is available on Amazon.
Q2. What did attract you towards Travel Blogging?
When I was in the UK studying for MBA, I worked part time in a travel agency. I started giving advice to British travelers about India along with other travel tips as part of my job. When I left, I had learnt a lot of things and therefore decided to set my own website and write travel related books.
Q3. What kind of hurdles did you face in your Travel Blogging journey?
Learning to set up a website was difficult. I did not know what I was doing. I had little technical skills but nonetheless I learnt what I had to do and then set up a website. Also monetizing was another aspect which I had to learn. There are lots of websites that were similar to mine so had to be something different.
Q4. Which one thing do you want to change in yourself and why?
Sometimes I do wish I had pursued a career related to teaching history to university students. This is because there’s a good pension plan to university lecturers but it’s all in the past now.
Q5. Tell us about one of the moments which changed your perspective towards life?
When I was giving advice to potential travelers to India, it occurred to me that I could be doing this for my own business. And few months later I was doing exactly the same thing.
Q6. You are an Author too. How do you pick any topic to write a Book?
I use my knowledge particularly about history and Indian culture which I learnt at university. I therefore use the information I know firsthand to write books. These include topics related to religion, culture, language and travel.
Q7. How do you see Blogging as a Passive Income? Is it sufficient to opt Blogging as a Primary career option?
In the beginning it is going to be difficult as it will never replace income coming from a day job. One will have to supplement income from another job. You need to consider this as a hobby but at the same time treat it like a business. But once it starts going then you can apply advertising and then you should be able to make money from it. I have written a post on how to make money from travel blogging.
Q8. How can anyone increase organic users for a blog without paying a single penny?
You need to write very good posts. You will need to make the post “sticky” so that when visitors arrive on the blog post they are capitated and stick around. This in turn indicates to the search engines that your post is of good quality hence raising it in the search engine results page. Back links will follow, when other bloggers and websites realize that you are writing good posts then they will backlink your blog post. You must use photos, videos to captivate our readers. You should definitely post on social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.
Q9. Vlogs and YouTube are rapidly increasing. Viewers and Creators are shifting their medium from Text to Video. Is Blogging going to end? What do you think about the future of Blogging regarding this problem?
It’s true that more and more people are turning to YouTube and other related sites but blogging will not come to end. A blogger can do both or alternatively supplement their blog with videos from these very sites hence increasing visibility in the search engines. But all in all, text will not come to end. People still like to read for example in quite places like libraries or at work. One needs to be a little creative to survive in blogging. Relying on completely writing blog posts will not cut it, a blogger will need to add a few other income streams.
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